PC Magazine drops print edition, goes online-only

Ziff Davis Media announced today that PCMag, its flagship brand, will go all-digital. The final print version will be the January 2009 issue. Further emphasizing its all digital direction, it was also announced the PCMag Network will be renamed PCMag Digital Network with PCMag.com as its lead property.

For the past seven years, PCMag has leveraged its long-standing position with technology readers and advertisers to build one of the leading digital media properties in the technology category. During this period, its digital assets registered annual audience and revenue growth of 33% and 42% respectively. Today, the PCMag Digital Network, with over seven million unique monthly visitors, reaches in excess of 10 times the circulation of the print publication.

“Moving our flagship property to an all-digital format is the final step in an evolutionary process that has been playing out over the last seven years,” stated Jason Young, CEO of Ziff Davis Media, in the press release. “Since 2000, online has been the focal point where technology buyers get their information and technology marketers are directing their dollars to drive demand and build their brands. We have been carefully preparing for this step and are fortunate to have a digital business that has the scale, profit, and opportunity to carry the brand powerfully into the future.”

According to Ziff Davis Media, “For readers that prefer the traditional magazine feel, a digital version of PCMag will be made available to them.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’re not sure that helps with “traditional magazine feel,” but surely the trees are happy today.

Source: Ziff Davis Media

[Attribution: Breitbart. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Roberto” for the heads up.]


  1. What is happening is that while print IS still an important medium (come on..look at a newsstand or your Sunday paper sometime)..publications whose content is available elsewhere will suffer a loss of readership. Print readers are WORTH more than web readers to an advertiser. If this was NOT true do you honestly believe that major advertisers would even HAVE an ad in print magazines? Why not take it all online? The truth is that for a lot of content the audience is divided now…and especially so for sites that essentially feed off the work of others (the Drudge Report being the most obvious example).
    That means that the audience leads the advertising. No audience, no ads. Pick up a copy of Vogue magazine or the Robb Report or any other highly vertical content publication. Simple.

  2. Don’t worry! Apple will be coming out with a super light weight comfy iTablet that will be just right for sitting on a sofa and browsing online mags, ebooks, web sites, TV shows, movies, games — everything!

  3. I couldn’t care less about having one less PC rag on the stand. Let’s hope that the celeb-tracker magazines die too.

    That said, I have never seen an online magazine that was as satisfying to read as the paper version. I don’t think I’m alone.

    While digital devices are great for content creation and rapid communication, many people strongly prefer to read printed publications on paper. Many people like hand-written letters that show intelligent thought rather than sophomoric LOL-laden crap blogs, which now constitute a major portion of online media.

    As nice as digital displays have become, no electronic device is as user-friendly as a good piece of print. None!

    As for environmental impact — papers can be manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner and can be recycled very cost effectively. Most electronics cannot be. Arguably the acid rain caused by paper mills in the past has had less impact than the PCBs, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals used in electronics manufacture – just visit China for your proof. The fact that paper manufacturers weren’t always environmentally sound shouldn’t negate the facts today.

  4. To get “the traditional magazine feel,” your web site must not be searchable, contain no hyperlinks and use no video or audio (let alone animated ads), and each page must be the same fixed size, which is wider than it is tall (think spreads). It must have only two buttons: Next and Back that move you only one page forward or backward. It must somehow transmit the odor of fresh ink.

    By the way, trees for paper are now grown as a crop on a five-year cycle. Making new paper creates more trees than not making new paper. Not that recycling is a bad thing, but I think many people still have an image of Old Growth or Rain forests being ground up into pulp for bags and boxes.

  5. Well… First, forrest farming is only working in the developed world today. The rest of the planed is still severely troubled with rapid deforestation. We got it all figured out, but they still have a long way to go.

    As for the pring/online dilemma, it is refreshing to see so many middle-aged participants in this debate. You can tell by their fondness for print medium. Ask anyone below 25 years of age if they subscribe to anything in print for a refreshing view on the state of the print media and its future.

    As for the “traditional magazine feel”, the article probably meant PDF, e-Book or Zinio formats, which preserve every single aspect of print media experience excpet the smell of fresh ink.

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